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tv   Doc Film - Aerial Bombing - From Guernica to Hiroshima Part 2  Deutsche Welle  February 19, 2018 10:15am-11:01am CET

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under the top story we're following for you today on d.w. news said the release of a german journalist imprisoned by turkey has led to a rapid improvement in times between berlin and ankara germany might now consider sanctioning a tank building a joint venture with turkey despite concerns that the vehicles would be used in syria against kurds. you're watching news coming to you live from berlin phil will be with you at the top of the next hour with another full bullets when you get all our news online if t w dot com thanks for all. of the stories that people the world over information they provide the pan's they want to express g.w. on facebook and twitter up to date and in touch with us.
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oh. this is the story of a world shattered by bombs a world where the very sky became a threat where terror descended upon cities and transformed people into hunted price. but. the at.
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last. the boy on the night of july twenty seventh one thousand nine hundred forty three british bomber command launched one of its largest raids against hamburg germany second largest city. the pilot recounted how they had left behind an enormous inferno whose glow they could still see three hundred kilometers away. in one night three hundred fifty thousand homes were destroyed the working class neighborhood of hama brooke was totally demolished all told there were forty two thousand six hundred deaths in what was known as operation gomorrah. an eyewitness noted. i saw roofs lift off into the sky bodies caught fire like tinder
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the asphalt was boiling are so two women trapped in the top they looked like thrice stuck in the burning wax of a. handle the air in the shelters have become an breathable for lack of oxygen. from a population of one and a half million nine hundred thousand people left the city taking along whatever they could save in their suitcases. and in the same words were on everyone's lips apocalypse the end of the world.
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reacting to the aerial devastation of hamburg get close settled for a terse phrase build it back up again. two months later the city had regained most of its production capacity. the story repeated itself in the industrial of the valley after each raid the machines were repaired factories moved and dead workers replaced by soldiers on the battlefield. german morale was definitely affected by the nonstop bombardments. by popular morale carries only limited quite in a dictatorship. in
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nazi germany the terror caused by the bombs had to compete with people's arguably greater fear of the regime. gerbils his henchmen went after anyone who showed the least sign of defeatism you could be put to death for listening to enemy radio broadcasts stealing a piece of bread found in the rubble whispering a critical remark or telling a joke about the government. the allies use of incendiary bombs in particular was wreaking enormous damage but it wasn't enough to make germany capitulate.
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the r.a.f. had been bombarding germany for over eighteen months under the command of afa harris his strategy would ultimately cost tens of thousands of british amand their lives. much later statistics would show that it was more dangerous to be on board a bomber than to be in a city that was bombed. despite the losses and the fact that victory had not come harris was able to convince the decision makers that the goal was close at hand. in london faith in the power of bombers took on almost mystical dimensions spectacular ceremonies were organized to raise funds from ordinary people. in the eyes of public opinion bombers embodied a tremendous hope. the campaign was
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called wings for victory. bomber command stepped up attacks against berlin there go to sever germany's head. that. was. paris predicted. it will cost us between four hundred to five hundred aircraft it will cost germany the war. a few months previously in january nine hundred forty three churchill had met with president roosevelt ten casablanca their talks were about how to open a second front on the ground against germany in europe. it was an implicit acknowledgement that an power alone would not get germany to surrender but
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roosevelt also promised churchill american support for the further aerial bombardment of their mutual enemy. small the u.s. air force would carry out daytime air raids while the r.a.f. operated at night. the british continued ass strategy of competent bombing while the americans wanted to precisely target strategically important industrial and infrastructure sites. the aircraft that would carry out these raids the gigantic be seventeen the flying fortress. yet what the u.s. air force thought was its secret weapon would fit into a carrier back. it was believed so valuable that pilots had orders to keep it locked in a safe between missions. this new technology the norden
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bombsight. during tests it was able to hit targets on the ground with a precision of fifty meters from an altitude of four thousand six hundred meters. the idea was to be able to bomb from altitudes beyond the reach of german flak. but the reality was different. the northern wasn't always as accurate is touted and it was susceptible to a variety of influences including bad weather that limited the nortons usefulness. moreover the u.s. air force had hoped to be seventeen's would be able to fly missions without armed escorts. that proved to be
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a miscalculation. in just three months the eighth air force lost more than three hundred brand new bombers. gen henry h. arnold commanding general of the u.s. army air forces was dismayed the u.s. military couldn't afford to keep losing aircraft at that rate. newcomers to bombing warfare the americans had botched to and from c. . but u.s. bombers would prove their destructive potential in other campaigns in other places . in july nine hundred forty three the war entered a new phase the landing of allied troops in sicily launched a ground offensive and ground troops expected support from bombers. for the us air
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force this was a second chance italy was less well defended than germany. but it is a was like a china shop almost all the italian industrial sites were located near architectural treasures. how could the allies even in the name of liberty destroy the cradle of western civilization. without. the american general staff began classifying cities are courting to their heritage value. category c. sienna p.'s are belong here and twenty one others. category b. nineteen citizen completing comma montepulciano. category a
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rome venice florence. crews were given detailed maps of the one hundred sixty most noteworthy cities indicating the buildings to avoid believing that all necessary precautions had been taken the american command authorized bombing raids. to. interact. no city was spat. not even rather a category a city which was both a treasure trove of architectural masterpieces and a center of christianity. i am. the attack of july nineteenth nine hundred
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forty three targeted the capital's train stations and air bases bombs went astray and fell on residential neighborhoods. there were at least one thousand five hundred casualties. the americans had to face the facts precision bombing was simply not always possible. in france stray allied bombs cause nearly sixty thousand deaths. there were twelve thousand deaths in belgium. and nine thousand in the netherlands. collateral victims of a new form of warfare. by
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now churchill himself worried about the consequences of mass bombing but his concerns were swept aside by the supreme commander of the allied powers general dwight eisenhower. the bottom line was that nothing was to be allowed to delay allied forces from retaking western europe from the nazis. by the end of the summer of one thousand nine hundred forty four the allies had liberated most french territory. leaving behind joy. but also sadness and destruction. for many cities the price of liberation was devastating destruction.
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in taking back france from the nonces the allies had only bombed cities that were strategically important. no such scruples apply to the bombing of germany in the final two years of the second world war the allies meted out an unprecedented destruction on their enemy the americans to would abandon their final moral restraints. in late one nine hundred forty four the allied ground offensive stormed the allies had already lost three hundred thousand men since the invasion of normandy. nothing seemed to be going as planned.
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and three years after the end of the bless german bombs once again fell on england it was the start of a new phase of the war. the v. one and v. two rockets weapons of vengeance promised by gerbils were ready for use these flying bombs were fired from the ground and did not need a pilot to guide them they were the first missiles in history. the twos could reach a speed of five thousand seven hundred kilometers an hour and cross the english channel in less than five minutes. too fast for anyone to sound the alarm. german v. rockets would claim some eight thousand lives but the british having whether the blitz bore the new threat with determination and stoicism.
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one person recalled. earlier in the war people stopped sending their children to school now it's as if being bombed by the germans was just one of the hazards of life like being run over by a motor car. back of the v. rockets impossible to stop raised some other fears what if the germans with their backs against the war equipped these fearsome missiles with chemical payloads. in front of the cameras the allies made threats if their enemies launched a chemical attack an equivalent counterattack would be swift you're looking at seventy thousand grams of mustard gas which is just a part of what we're falling for that day when that jap the germans want to start up a. fear of chemical weapons was one of many factors that convinced the allies they
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had to defeat hitler's germany as soon as possible. renouncing all of their principles american chiefs of staff decided to strike a spectacular blow to german morrow by leveling berlin under a shower of bombs. the commander of the u.s. eight air force james doolittle initially refused to comply. in a memo trance to his superior general col spats he wrote this attack would violate the most basic american principle of precision bombing of targets of strictly military significance. but spans left do little no choice he was ordered to hit the center of the city.
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harris was thrilled he had finally won over the american general staff. the raid of february sixth one thousand nine hundred five left nearly three thousand dead and one hundred thousand homeless. but the american action did not hold the nazi machine any more than british bombing had done. hitler simply remarked even the most idiotic german now understands that his house will never be rebuilt if we do not win. propaganda images of the folks from a popular militia trying to convince people that germany was ready for a great and sudden surge but most german civilians view defeat as inevitable just trying to survive.
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there was only one place where a person was truly safe beneath the ion steel and concrete shell of bunkers they would like latter day know as ochs some had space for twenty thousand. and if people were squeezed in bunkers could hold thirty thousand. but the overwhelming majority of germans had to manage without such protection. during the last four months of the war germany was bombed without interruption. during the day by the americans. at night by the british.
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in february nine hundred forty five as the allies made progress on both fronts only a few cities were spat. for now dresden was one of them. rumor had it that it was because churchill's great aunt lived there. but the city was in for one of the worst to aerial bombardments ever. dressed and was an administrative center managing the influx of refugees fleeing the soviet advance on the eastern front. by striking this crowded the wrong city the allies hope to disrupt the entire east of nazi germany.
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one. from february thirteenth to fifteenth some one thousand three hundred american and british heavy bonus pounded dressed and dropping nearly four thousand tons of bombs and creating a firestorm. the images of two and horrifying. we know today that there were twenty five thousand casualties but a terrifying number was circulating at the time two hundred fifty thousand. and nine general stuff hasta long battle inflated figure.
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and. even chantelle began to question the on ice strategy. would he go from being the hero of the blitz to being the executioner of dresden he wrote the destruction of dresden remains a serious query against the conduct of allied bombing. paris had lost the prime minister's support yet he was never ordered to cease carpet bombing german targets that would continue until the end of the war. we've. been civilians were trapped like the animals in the berlin zoo he refused to leave cages that had been ripped open by bombs back the bombing stopped only with the red army's final advance. soviet troops attacked pearl and on april sixteenth one thousand nine
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hundred forty five. germany vowed to fight until the end. stalin had never believed in the effectiveness of bombers he had chosen to conduct his war on the ground it had cost the lives of millions of soldiers but he was winning street by street. on april thirtieth hitler committed suicide in his bunker. germany surrendered. while soviet troops triumphed in english and americans discovered the scale of the destruction caused by their bombers germany was buried under four hundred million
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cubic meters of rubble. i i i i. i. am. the interrogation of nazi leaders revealed stunning information not only had german production not dropped during the country's bombardment but it had even increased until the end of the war only intensified attacks against transports station and oil and gas facilities could have truly hurt them. so had the aerial bombing campaigns open for nothing. for seven million germans hunters three hundred fifty thousand civilians killed by bombs with double that number wounded that raised the question could people be both victims and
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perpetrators. during british victory celebrations churchill did not say a word about bomber command or the tens of thousands of pilots who had died on missions he conveniently omitted that he himself had initiated and supported his strategy. and given bamma harris his immense power. the conventional wisdom is aerial bombardment was the key to the american victory in the pacific theater of world war two the atomic bombs dropped on hiroshima and nagasaki so the logic runs hastened japan surrender and saved the lives of
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a million g.i.'s. but is this really the case or is it just an ex post facto justification. autumn nine hundred forty four the atomic bomb was still in the planning stages but there was already no doubt regarding the outcome of the war with japan the us navy was subjecting the island nation to a blockade it couldn't hold on forever the us was now exploring the possibility of a landing.
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but promised what retakes sent to staff which. never before had that advocates been so powerful forming a kind of lobby in the general staff they were nicknamed the bomber matter. from prestigious military academies to the holes of power a group of selous offices were promoting the use of new weapons produced by a gigantic military industrial complex which had like nine hundred forty four employed hundreds of thousands of people took up on its own a third of the defense budget. the results were b. twenty nine super fortresses and new generations of bombs i've such as ones carrying this flammable makes sure of gasoline and gel rubber that flows and sticks to objects and people. napalm. it would first
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become a household word during the vietnam war but napalm was actually invented in one thousand nine hundred forty two. the product was tested on a u.s. base in utah where army engineers had built detail bradley because of german and japanese neighborhoods. in terms of destruction the napalm yield surpassed all expectations and it was especially effective on the wooden homes typical of japan. in january nine hundred forty five and three thousand tons of napalm were delivered to the island of tinian which u.s.
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forces had recently taken from the japanese. in a few weeks the americans had built the world's largest airport that. japan was now within range of the b. twenty nine. the new head of the twenty first bomber command curtis lemay decided to wreak devastation on the country. when someone mentioned victims he responded curtly there are no innocent civilians. taking advantage of anti japanese hatred common in the us lemay was able to push bombing to its ultimate limits.
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in japan people knew that catastrophe was imminent lead into a war that it did not have the means to fight the country was on its last legs but entrenched in his palace and brought hirohito was not inclined to give up his throne in order to stop the hostilities. in newspapers that for lack of paper were only a single page he put forward to his people the role model of the chemical. if japan was unable to win the war so the logic went at least it could choose how to loose. enemy reconnaissance planes criss cross the skies. the french journalist in tokyo of our bear witness to what he described as an unbearable whiting. march ninth spring has burst forth by surprise. but good weather during this time of
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raids. far from bringing joy causes and zion. even more worrisome is the wind which from morning blows forth swelling into gusts. throughout the city everyone has the same thought if they came in a wind like this it would be terrible. indeed here they come. march ninth nine hundred forty five. three hundred thirty fall b. twenty nine. one thousand seven hundred tons of napalm. and one hundred thousand casualties. the bombing of tokyo was one of the most
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deadly in the history of humanity. although the napalm bombings were overshadowed by the atomic bomb they actually killed far more people. who may have set out to systematically destroyed japan cities the only respite came when napalm supplies ran out by may every city of more than three hundred thousand inhabitants had been raised. a new list was drawn up. soon cities with fewer than one hundred thousand inhabitants would be targeted. the plan was to destroy sixty six major urban areas where twenty one million people
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had once lived. hundreds of thousands of japanese had already been killed and victory was still not at hand would everyone have to be killed a and just as in germany massive bombing campaigns had not weakened the japanese regime's determination to continue the fight. but beginning in june one thousand nine hundred forty five the worsening military situation forced the emperor to reconsider his position. after the american city seized the island of okinawa only five hundred fifty kilometers away from the japanese mainland. japanese diplomats signaled their willingness to open negotiations for an end to the hostilities their only condition the emperor would be allowed to keep his throne.
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the outcome of the war was in the hands of the new american president harry truman who became head of state with the death of franklin roosevelt at the same time scientists from the manhattan project were finishing work on a new bomb von imaginable power. on july sixteenth nine hundred forty five on the testing grounds in new mexico they detonated the world's first atomic bomb trinity. the doomsday weapon worked. physicist robert oppenheimer passed it over to the military in the person of general leslie groves the true director of the project the us government and military could now decide how and whether to use the atomic weapons
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two bombs were sent to the base at tinian. despite protest from many scientists the military refused to consider detonating one outside populated areas as a demonstration of force to have its full effect us leadership decided the bomb had to destroy and kill. at the allies potsdam conference held around the same time president truman knew he had the ultimate weapon. the atomic bomb had strengthened truman's hand both with his former allies and with the japanese. he issued an ultimatum calling for the emperor to abdicate his throne and japan to capitulate. the japanese rejected those terms. on over six nine hundred forty five at eight hours sixteen minutes and two seconds
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a single b. twenty nine dropped an atomic bomb on hiroshima. the copilot robert lowe is sad my god what have we done. the explosion caused some eighty thousand deaths thousands more would die in the coming weeks months and years from exposure to radiation on the front page of the daily news read atomic bomb hit a city vanished. eighty years earlier the bombing of guernica had shocked public opinion across the globe but after all the intensive bombing campaigns in the intervening years few people were shocked anymore. philosopher al back home you raised one of the rare opposing voices. our technological civilization has reached its final degree of savagery governments
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must choose definitively between hell and reason. truman had chosen he immediately sent the emperor another ultimatum. which they do not know except. they met expect a rino from the air. which has never been so you know on this earth. but. truman may have worried that stalin who had just successfully launched a blistering attack against the japanese army in manchuria would steal ultimate victory in the war against japan. just three days after hiroshima truman ordered the bombing of nagasaki. this second bomb caused seventy thousand more deaths.
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the us kept pressing japan to capitulate. a compromise was reached the us backed off its insistence that your pants emperor hirohito step down. in return hirohito declared that atomic bombs were what had brought japan to its knees. he conveniently omitted the fact that before this he had allowed hundreds of thousands of his subjects to be burned and killed by napalm bombs. the emperor had got what he wanted now japan could surrender.
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but the ruins of hiroshima and nagasaki were not quite like other bombs. citizen. the americans quickly discovered the deadly legacy of radioactive poisoning a slow long term killer. to many hiroshima and nagasaki were indictments of the victors inhumanity army reports about conditions in the two japanese cities were classified top secret the american general staff began arguing that the bombing of hiroshima and nagasaki was a necessary evil.
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leslie groves the head of the manhattan project formally presented the official story before the senate. economic but made it impossible for the japanese to continue their war despite their determination to fight to the bitter end. and in that i think they would have taken one of them. down. a story was established many people believe that use of the atomic bomb had in fact saved human lives and that logic was often extended to bombing in general. aerial bombardments in world war two killed at least a million civilians wounded three times that number and left more than fifteen million homeless. pondering there's victory the head of american bombers
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cut islam a personally observed years later if we'd lost the war we'd all of been prosecuted as war criminals. land it had initially escalated aerial warfare. the allies took the idea and further developed aerial bombardment to previously unimaginable levels. there was little room anymore for moral scruples or even questions about whether aerial bombardment even makes strategic sense the effects are still being felt today. remote warfare scalpel line precision technological progress has produced new
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promises. or more likely new illusions. she's sixteen years old fish farms her own business and is helping to prevent water shortages in south africa. italy's might decide to do something about the water being wasted on her parents for sure. so she installed an aqua phonics system.
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it's a simple idea that's really set an example eco at africa in thirty minutes on t w. s because we feel. the scars from most of. the pain still tangible. the suffering for going. through cities edged by the more. they have survived the two they also have a future. i really understand people who say they don't want to stay here. but i also admire people who want to stay here and who decided to create something . new beginning in peace time more the people making it possible what needs to happen if tolerance and reconciliation are to stand a chance. out of darkness the city's after war.
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starting march tenth on d w. this is d.w. news live from germany and turkey relations costs critics. like these used to a kurdish rebels in syria part of a deal to free an imprisoned german journalist also on the program. so if you syria offensive could escalate further. strike a deal with damascus to repel troops. inside
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a russian community train a whistleblower tells me that the thirteen people indicted for.


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